Education Leaders
Kula & Organizations
Array of supporters (KS)

On January 29, 2019 72 educational leaders and supporters came together to review Kanaeokana’s progress and to harness their collective intelligence to guide their work going forward. Here’s a link to the slide deck of the meeting to get an in-depth perspective. For a quick overview, please see the table below.

*Additional invitees had scheduling conflicts but voiced an interest in joining future meetings.


Here’s a summary of the day’s activities:

Wehena: Pule, ‘Ike honua – Ke‘ehi Helping us to honor the ahupuaʻa of Moanalua where we were meeting, Kēhaulani Kupihea shared with the ʻAha Kūkā about the area ma kai of Moanalua–Keʻehi. Kēhaulani shared some of the rich history of Keʻehi and the significant moku papapa (reef islets) within it–their enduring connections to living ʻohana, manō, navigation, ʻāina i uka, and much more. If you would like to learn more, please visit Mokauea.org.

In honor of those wahi pana (legendary, storied places), the group sang together Mokuoe, by Philomena Makaena.

Kanaeokana: How has it grown in its first two years? Kōmike Hoʻokele members Ekela Kaniaupio-Crozier and Malia Nobrega-Oliviera shared about the early formation of Kanaeokana and its progress over time

  • Creation of the network itself, comprised of a broad, active membership across the spectrum of Hawaiian education contexts.
  • Development of a shared vision, mission, and strategic goals
  • Establishment of a Kōmike Hoʻokele to serve in place of ʻAha Kūkā when urgent decision making is needed, to guide ʻAha Kūkā agenda development, and to direct the strategic and tactical work of Kanaeokana
  • Formation of shared ideas about what defines an aloha ʻāina leader (still being refined)
  • Development and growth of communication channels and content shared on Kanaeokana  channels
Kanaeokana Handbook: Improving clarity and transparency for participants in a fun way The Kanaeokana handbook is not your typical guide. Check it out, and you’ll see!

Following up from the July 2018 meeting where the ‘Aha Kūkā made decisions on what they’d like to see in a handbook, Kōmike Hoʻokele member Olani Lilly presented a hardcopy draft and shared:

  • Origins of the handbook idea:
    • Trainers at a Harvard Collaborative Leadership Training emphasized that handbooks are often key tools in successful holacratic organizations (ones that are group “led” with no hierarchy; where lots of clarity about how folks get things done take the place of a bunch of bosses running the show).
    • Since Kanaeokana is such an organization where any member might take on a leadership or follower/supporter role, we thought this might work for us too.
  • Purpose of the handbook:
    • Provide clarity and transparency regarding what Kanaeokana is, how it works, how folks can engage in it, and how it’s supported.
    • Offer new members a way to jumpstart their engagement in Kanaeokana.
    • Serve as a living document that can be adjusted to reflect changes in the group’s thinking.

Olani also got the ʻAha Kūkā engaged in a 10-team, no holds-barred, be as creative as you can, virtual “scavenger hunt.”  The pics tell the story!

The pics and videos tell the story!

Kanaeokana dashboard: Activities past and present The ʻAha Kūkā had a chance to explore via three modes what’s been happening in the six  Kanaeokana kōmike hoʻokō (standing working group committees).

  • A face-to-face sharing offered by the alakaʻi of each kōmike hoʻokō
  • The virtual Kanaeokana Project Dashboard
  • A printed version of the dashboard “uploaded” onto one of the meeting room walls

The goal of this exercise was to allow all ʻAha Kūkā members to become apprised of the work of each kōmike hoʻokō and to then be prepared to choose which kōmike they wanted to jump into for the next activity.

What’s next for Kanaeokana?: Harvesting collective intelligence through Ideation Centers! The ‘Aha Kūkā divided up into the six kōmike ho‘okō to engage in a set of brainstorming and discussion to identify and share two efforts that each kōmike is most interested in pursuing:

  • Kōmike hoʻokō alakaʻi shared about what their kōmike is hoping to receive brainstorming ideas about
  • Participants at each kōmike had individual brainstorming time and shared an “ideation kit” to help stir creative juices
  • Participants shared their ideas with kōmike
  • Each kōmike selected two ideas they were most interested in working on
  • Each kōmike shared their top two ideas with the ‘Aha Kūkā

As each kōmike solidifies their plans, the emerging projects will be posted on the Kanaeokana Project Dashboard.

New Kōmike Ho‘okele nominations: ‘Aha Kūkā participants nominated people for the Kōmike Ho‘okele and took a vote Nominations were solicited for three open seats on the Kōmike Hoʻokele. During lunch ʻAha Kūkā participants vote for their chosen three Kōmike Hoʻokele nominees.
Hei, Hei, Hei!  Miki‘ala Lidstone of Ulu Aʻe Learning Center shared about hei.

She taught the group that hana hei originates from a time when the memories of our kūpuna were highly developed. “It is a mnemonic device that aids in memory acquisition as well as pattern and symmetry recognition. It’s also a celestial and land mapping tool. It integrates auditory, visual and kinesthetic functions appealing to all learners,” said Kumu Mikiʻala.

She and her son Kalaʻe demonstrated several amazing hei to the group, including a two-person, 3D hei involving puʻu in ʻEwa.

Kumu Mikiʻala also taught the group a beginner hei, Nenue, which is a one-eye string figure.  

Pūlehu ka Nenue      Smoke the nenue
Kō‘ala Ka Nenue       broil the nenue
E e, e e, e e

Hae Hawai‘i: An opportunity to engage community A highlight of the gathering was the screening of Hawaiʻi International Film Festival Short Film Audience Award winner Hae Hawaiʻi–a moving work of historical fiction that strongly resonates with the Kanaeokana nuʻukia and ala nuʻukia.

Following the screening, Hae Hawaiʻi Director, Ty Sanga, shared a bit of the story behind the story along with the hopes for what the film might invoke as audiences soak in its many messages. 

A further purpose of the screening was to have  the ʻAha Kūkā consider the possibility of holding screenings in their community that could be combined with other films, performances, displays, cultural vendors, etc. There was high interest in doing so.

Slack: An awesome tool that will help us stay connected Throughout the day, ʻAha Kūkā participants signed up for Slack and got connected to the Kanaeokana Slack account. This part of the day engaged everyone in practicing to use Slack as a communication and coordination  tool.
Pau ka hālāwai – Pule, Mele Lāhui The new Kōmike Hoʻokele members were announced:
Kalamakū Freitas
Mikiʻala Ayau Pescaia
Ka ʻOhana Kahakalau: ʻIʻini Kahakalau & Kū Kahakalau (sharing a seat)


  • Save the date! The next ‘Aha Kūkā will be taking place on July 12th, 2019.
  • The six kōmike will continue meeting to forward their work streams.
  • The Kōmike Ho‘okele will be meeting prior to the next Kanaeokana Plenary Meeting.
  • Have fun with Slack, download the app to your phone! Slack is useful for project communications and where we provide updates and announcements.